11.02.2017 · The Government

Referendum on Faroese Constitution to be held on 25 April 2018

The Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands, Aksel V. Johannesen, announced yesterday that the referendum on the Faroese constitution will be held on 25 April 2018. The Government is aiming to ensure as broad support as possible for the new Faroese constitution, both in the Parliament and amongst the Faroese people. Leaders of both coalition and opposition parties in the Faroes have been working in recent months to find consensus, based on a proposal that has been under development for several years.

“My task has been to consolidate a spectrum of views in order to achieve as broad a consensus as possible on this fundamental matter for Faroese society. It is no secret that the political parties have divergent views on certain aspects of the proposed constitution. This has had an influence on the process so far,” said Aksel V. Johannesen, Prime Minister.

The Government had originally intended for the constitution to be put to a referendum before the end of 2017. It is now planned for 25 April 2018. The proposal will first be submitted to the Parliament when it convenes on 29 July for its 2017/18 session. A six-month period will then be required from the time the proposal is adopted in the Parliament until the referendum is held.

"The Faroese constitution will define our identity as a nation and our fundamental rights and duties as a people, including our right to self-determination. It will also be a safeguard against the abuse of power. This will be clearly reflected in the requirement that the Faroese people must be consulted by referendum on questions related to further independence from, or further integration with, Denmark. The same will also be the case in relation to membership in supra-national organisations, such as the EU. The Faroese constitution will move the ultimate decision-making power from the Parliament to the people on such fundamental questions. This will be a triumph for the Faroese people and for democracy in the Faroe Islands”, said Prime Minister Johannesen.